tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC February 22, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
>> thanks for joining us. from all of us here, thanks for watching. welcome to "world news." tonight, backlash. gas prices rising before our eyes. 16 cents in a flash. fed-up drivers are fighting back. made in america. u.s. factories leaving china and coming back home. david muir and the "made in america" team, on who's hiring, here, right now. diet drug. a thumbs-up for the first new weight loss pill in more than ten years. and in the doghouse. what are they doing behind the scenes to get uggie to do this? good evening. the most stressful job in america today just may be the person who has to change the rising price on the sign at the gasoline station. the average price tonight, $3.58
and going up every day. and all day long, across america, as americans filled up, they got fed up. as abc's cecilia vega found out. and she's in los angeles tonight. cecilia? >> reporter: good evening, diane. boy, these prices are off the charts here. $4.99 for a gallon of regular. if you think that's bad, there are drivers in alaska who are reportedly now paying $6 a gallon. these prices are starting to take a toll on drivers. and they are venting their anger. gas prices aren't the only thing on the rise these days. so are tempers all around the country. from flint, michigan. >> when they feel like they want to make more money, they up the price. >> reporter: to chicago. >> it's crazy. i mean, it's absolutely maddening. >> reporter: to atlanta. >> there goes $100, down the drain. but you know, i have to do it to survive. >> reporter: a trip to the gas station, now, an exercise in frustration.
near los angeles, a gallon costs $4.05 at 11:00 in the morning and shot up 16 cents in just three hours. >> it went from, what? a month ago, 70 bucks, or 80 bucks. almost 100 bucks. it's a big difference. and it really gets you. >> reporter: signs of gas gouging, too. in lake buena vista, florida, nearly $6 for a gallon of regular. caught in the middle, the gas station workers. this san diego attendant says drivers pelt him with expletives all day long. >> like, are you [ bleep ] kidding me about the gas prices? >> reporter: and that's not even the worst of it. >> a few weeks ago, i was changing the prices out there, and you know, a customer tried to run over the sign. >> reporter: that's not the only bad behavior. near tampa, thieves went after the actual station in the middle of the night. >> the suspects parked a van over the underground tanks and started to pump out gas. >> reporter: and in fresno, california, thieves popped off neighbors' gas caps and siphoned the hot commodity right out of the tank.
>> it would be nice if i could use my gas instead of somebody else taking it. >> reporter: so, who stands to gain for these record prices? analysts say for every $50 you spend at the pump, most of it, about 31 bucks, goes to oil companies. $7 goes to refineries that turn that oil into gas. the government gets a chunk in taxes. the people who deliver the gas and the credit card companies get a small portion of it. and that leaves just about $1 in profit for the gas stations. and, diane, take a look at this. it's almost too unbelievable to believe. just while we were on the air during those two minutes of that story, the gas prices here at this station went up by 10 cents. it was $4.99. now, it's $5.09 for a gallon of regular gas here at this station in downtown los angeles. >> it went up 10 cents? >> reporter: 10 cents, during that two minutes we were on the air. >> don't blink at the gasoline station. thank you, cecilia. as gas prices rise, another
economic vital sign, housing, showed some sign of life today. more and more people are buying existing homes. up 4.3% last month. the highest rate in nearly two years. but that's still well below what economists say is a truly healthy market. and you can bet, every republican candidate is taking the pulse of the economy all day today, including gas prices. as tonight, they head into their 20th -- yes, their 20th debate. it's "your voice, your vote." and the more the republicans brawl, the happier one candidate gets. who is it? here's abc's jon karl. >> reporter: how good is the president feeling these days? just look at him with mick jagger last night at the white house. ♪ baby don't you want to go ♪ >> reporter: singing the blues. but feeling just fine. after all, the heat right now is on the republicans, especially mitt romney, facing his biggest test yet. can he avoid an embarrassing defeat to rick santorum tuesday in michigan?
not just romney. many republican voters aren't happy with any of the candidates. in a new a.p. poll today, 40% of republicans say they are dissatisfied with the field. former republican party chairman haley barbour tells abc news, we could see the battle for the nomination go all the way to the republican convention. >> if the republican primary voters continue to split up their votes in such a way that nobody is close to having a majority, then there is a chance that somebody else might get in. >> reporter: barbour says that is unlikely. but -- >> a hotly-contested convention is not necessarily bad. >> reporter: new jersey governor chris christie supports romney. but still, some republicans want him to get in. >> a politico reporter says some are privately asking you still to think about getting back in the race. is that true? >> yes. >> what are they saying to you? >> listen, the same things they always said before. what i say back to them is that
i am supporting mitt romney. >> reporter: if romney loses in michigan, diane, you're going to hear more calls for a new candidate. >> all right. jon karl reporting in. while the republicans battle it out, the president made a big move to win votes in november. today, unveiling a plan to bring american jobs back to u.s. soil. proposing lowering the tax rate for corporations in america, from 35% to 28%. even lower for some u.s. companies that manufacture goods here at home. all designed to make america more competitive in the world. and abc's david muir and the "made in america" team say there are signs the tide is finally turning. david? >> reporter: real signs, diane. tonight, as you know, before this newest plan to bring jobs home, we've been reporting on "made in america" for a year now. so often, showing those factories in china, with what used to be american jobs. tonight, check out this first image here, a role reversal. take a close look at this empty factory because it's the exact opposite of what we've come to expect. this time, the empty factory is
in shenzhen, china. and the american company that once employed chinese workers here are packing up. as the boxes say, going home. >> nameplate, coming down. >> reporter: the ceo is convinced it will be cheaper, not in china. but back in america. and we were there in houston, texas, this week, pulling in before the paint even dried at the new american factory, where they'll soon make l.e.d. lightbulbs. already inside, close to 100 americans waiting for these jobs to come home. >> we look forward to interviewing each and every one of you and putting you to work. all right. >> reporter: how many of you in the room today have been looking for a job for a year or more? they came to be interviewed for the job. but they were also the ones asking questions. darnel reed, asking, why leave china? how does it make economic sense to bring those -- >> manufacturing jobs?
>> that's a great question. >> reporter: that's a great question. and the answer, the developing middle class in china. the same middle class "world news" met there. now quickly, demanding higher wages. today, more than $3 an hour. predictions of $6 an hour around the corner. but even $6 an hour is a lot cheaper than what you have to pay here. >> you have to factor in other things. the average u.s. worker is 3.4 times more productive than the average chinese worker. >> reporter: more productive. and for the ceo making those new lightbulbs, it was like a lightbulb went off for him, too. >> i've gotten into arguments with ceos on planes about what an idiot i am. >> reporter: for coming back? >> for coming back. >> reporter: no argument here. more jobs coming home right off this elevator, on the 21st floor of an empty skyscraper in detroit. you were looking all over the world, all over the country, to find the next location for your company? >> absolutely. >> reporter: take a look at this. this is the newest office space. we're standing in a vacant building downtown detroit. it's been empty for nearly a decade or more.
and when we look around the room, we see an old conference table in the corner. signs of a failed business years ago. but they see something else. inexpensive real estate for their growing i.t. firm, connecting patients' electronic medical records across america. now, much closer to their american clients than the workers in bangalore, india. bangalore's on the line? >> yes. >> reporter: on this day, the new workers, on the line with one of the i.t. specialists in bangalore, kishore. how are you? kishore makes $20,000 a year. ron, with the same job here, can make $40,000 to $60,000. factor in the other costs, the ceo says it still makes sense, which is exactly what we heard at the new lightbulb factory in houston. where tonight, those eager workers and their resumes are waiting. good luck. >> thank you so much. >> reporter: we're pulling for john. 125 factory workers will be hired to make those new lightbulbs. another 125 to sell them around the country. and something else we discovered coming up tomorrow night, all of
the call centers, when we hear a foreign voice around the world. we've all made that call before. some eye-opening numbers about where those jobs are headed next. probably right down the street. >> oh, well, no kidding. well, it bears repeating. the american worker is three-times to four-times more productive than the chinese worker. >> reporter: it adds up. >> thank you, david. we want to bring you up-to-date on a story that caused so much concern last night. we told you about the u.s. military burning discarded korans in afghanistan. and they apologized and apologized and apologized, fearing a furious backlash. as the u.s. feared, the protests did spread today, now in five separate locations across afghanistan. at least seven people died, dozens were wounded, in clashes with afghan security. and now, to syria and the personal story that takes us inside the unfolding horrors there. where today, president bashar assad intensified the assault on his own people. more than 70 were killed. and one of them was trying to send a message out to all of us.
here, now, someone who knew her. abc's global affairs anchor, christiane amanpour. >> reporter: the city of homs is ground zero for the syrian army's assault on the rebels. and it is exactly where marie colvin felt that she needed to be. the veteran american war reporter, working for "the london sunday times," known for that eye patch from an injury of another war, a decade ago. under the cover of darkness, colvin got into homs by climbing walls and crawling through mud. so she could show the world the lives behind the pictures we've seen. >> anyone who gets on the street, if they're not hit by a shell, they're snipers all around baba amr on the high buildings. i think the sickening thing is the completely merciless nature. >> reporter: what she could not know, as she broadcast live on cnn and the bbc last night, was
that one of those gunmen's shells were hours from striking the building where she was staying. her last report, of watching a baby die from his shrapnel wounds. >> the doctors just said, well, we can't do anything. and we had to watch the little baby, becoming desperate for breath, die. that little baby probably will move more people to think, what is going on? and why is no one stopping this murder? >> reporter: and that is why colvin went into war zones, to bear witness to suffering and injustice. there are reports, today, that syria is using not just tanks. but also the largest mortar shells made. i was with marie in many war zones. these pictures were taken in libya last year, just before our interview with moammar gadhafi. all of her colleagues knew that what drove her to risk her life was the belief that being there, telling the stories, is the only way to get the world to act.
diane, we mourn, not just the excellence of her work, but the importance of what she was covering. >> the children dying. the adults dying. the journalists dying. what is going to galvanize action? and what kind of action would be effective? >> reporter: it's really difficult. there's going to be a big meeting in tunisia. the u.s. and many of its allies. they're hoping to achieve some humanitarian aid. but they don't even know who to arm in the opposition, if they were to give weapons. so, it's very difficult. >> so hard to keep watching and hearing these reports. >> reporter: it really is. >> thank you, christiane. and still ahead here on "world news," americans pretending to be war heroes. how can they do that? brian ross investigates. and big news, tonight, about the first new diet drug in more than a decade. forty years ago, he wasn't looking for financial advice.
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identifying dozens who posed as american war heroes to get girls, fame or money. in san diego, the defense department awarded a $66 million contract to this bogus hero, after he falsely claimed he had a silver star and a bronze star. >> all he was nothing but a dirty liar and a phony. >> reporter: it was real veterans who pushed for the stolen valor law, to punish men like angel ocasio of tampa. he was caught by our abc affiliate there, wearing a chest full of medals he never won. >> we checked with the marine corps. they never heard of you. >> really? >> yeah. >> reporter: the case today involved a local official in california, xavier alvarez, who was convicted of falsely claiming he was awarded the medal of honor. >> i didn't explain myself correctly. >> reporter: in court, his lawyer said his lies were protected by the first amendment and did no harm to the honor of the real heroes. >> there's nothing that any of
these phonies can say or do that diminished the honor or the reputation of the awards themselves or the men and women who fight in the armed forces do for us. >> reporter: but the government says the law is constitutional, and meant to protect the valor of heroes, like the navy s.e.a.l. team that killed osama bin laden. >> we've worked hard for the reputations we have. >> reporter: since the bin laden raid, dozens have been exposed of navy s.e.a.l.s, including a california man, who attended a veterans ceremony. and a pennsylvania pastor, jim moats, who confessed to the harrisburg newspaper, he had been lying about being a navy s.e.a.l. for five years. >> it's an ego-builder for me. but it's still a lie. >> reporter: now, the court will decide whether falsely claiming to be one of america's heroes is criminal, or just a harmless fib. brian ross, abc news. >> and we'd love to know your views on this. please, e-mail us at abcnews.com. still ahead, a thumbs-up today for the first new diet pill in more than a decade. how does it work?
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as they're rolling out the red carpet in hollywood, getting ready for the academy awards sunday night, we wanted to know more about the four-footed actor who melted so many hearts. who is saying tonight, what about us? abc's david wright has the story of uggie. >> reporter: on the red carpet. and on stage at the golden globes. uggie practically stole the show. but will he be there on oscar night? "the artist" has ten oscar nominations, including best actor for jean dujardin. but uggie, who does everything he does, got stiffed. what do you think, uggie? can you blame him? blame rin tin tin. in 1929, the very first year they had oscars, he supposedly
won the most number of votes for best actor. >> the members of the academy looked and thought this is really going to set an awkward precedent. so, they recounted the votes, and magically, the new winner was emil jannings. >> reporter: emil who? so, this award season, movieline mounted an online campaign. consider uggie. the british academy of film and television arts snootily scoffed that his unique motivation as an actor was sausages. that's true. but some argue, the academy should be more inclusive. >> i think the animals should get as much credit as we do. >> reporter: but presumably you don't act on command? >> i do. >> reporter: for treats? >> i do. are you kidding me? a mortgage payment like that is a treat. >> reporter: happily, uggie did get some recognition this year. last week, at the first annual golden collar awards. >> and the golden collar goes to -- >> reporter: uggie was top dog.
every dog has its day. david wright, abc news, hollywood. >> hope he doesn't watch the oscars. too painful. and by the way, don't miss a special "20/20" tonight. robin roberts with some of the big nominees, talking about life before they were famous. and we thank you for watching. we're always there at abcnews.com. see you again tomorrow. my son said mama the officer is lying. >> she told us her son was unarmed when wounded by police. tonight we have the other side of the story. >> san francisco sheriff ross mirkarimi goes on trial this week. tonight the evidence each side wants thrown out. >> and how many secrets are you divulging just by using